Crook County survives late Madras rally to take a 60-58 win in offensive battle
The Crook County High School football team escaped Madras with a win.
In an offensive battle of epic proportions the Cowboys fell behind early, rallied to take what seemed to be an insurmountable lead, and then held on for a 60-52 in the contest which was held last Friday night in Madras.
“I’ve never seen anything that extreme,” said Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran. “Not in high school. That was a heck of a footrace.”
Devin Ceciliani returned the opening kick off 90 yards for a touchdown, and just 11 seconds into the contest Madras led 6-0.
On their opening possession the Cowboys quickly marched down the field only to see the drive stall after a Crook County holding penalty.
Madras took possession on their own 31, but were unable to move the ball and punted three plays later. Marcus Greaves returned the punt to the 47 yard line and the Cowboys were in business. On the first play from scrimmage Greaves slashed for seven yards. Then he blasted straight ahead for a first down on the Madras 41 yard line. A pass to Greaves and a run by Colbran Meeker gave the Cowboys a first down on the 30 yard line. Then quarterback Joe Saenz ran the ball around the right side all the way to the 10 yard line. Dean Smith carried the ball to the four yard line and one play later Brandon Zemp carried the ball into the end zone. When Edgar Toledo blasted the extra point through the uprights the Cowboys led 7-6 with 4:01 remaining in the first period.
The Cowboy defense stopped Madras on their ensuing possession. However, the White Buffalo punt hit a Crook County blocker and Madras recovered the ball on the 47 yard line. Madras was unable to move the ball again and the first quarter ended with the White Buffaloes punting the ball to the Cowboy eight yard line.
Crook County moved the ball to the 43 yard line before their drive stalled. Then Toledo blasted a 50 yard punt which was downed on the eight yard line. On fourth and 17 from their own one yard line the White Buffaloes elected to snap the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety and the Cowboys led 9-6.
Greaves returned the ensuing kick off to the 42 yard line. However, once again the Cowboy drive stalled. Once again Toledo blasted a booming punt which was downed on the Madras four-yard line.
Just four plays later Steele Haugen hit Ceciliani on a short pass across the middle and Ceciliani scampered through the Cowboy defense for a 65-yard touchdown. The Madras kick was blocked and the White Buffaloes held a 12-9 lead with 5:28 remaining in the half.
However, the lead lasted for just seconds as Greaves returned the ensuing kick off 80 yards for a touchdown and the Cowboys led 16-12.
Toledo blasted the kick off into the end zone and Madras took possession on their own 20 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Aaron Swindle intercepted a Haugen pass and the Cowboys had the ball back on the Madras 30 yard line.
Four plays later Saenz hit Greaves with a 20 yard touchdown strike and the Cowboys led 23-12 with 3:57 still remaining in the half.
Madras responded with an 11-play 80-yard drive of their own — capped off by a 16-yard Ceciliani touchdown run. Once again the extra point was no good and the Cowboys led 23-18.
Zemp returned the ensuing kick off to the 48 yard line. The Cowboys were able to advance the ball all the way to the 27 yard line before their drive stalled. On fourth and eight Toledo hit a 44 yard field goal and Crook County led 26-18 with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Madras responded with an 80 yard, 20 second drive that finished with Ceciliani making a 16-yard touchdown run. However, the big play on the drive was a 44 yard pass to Jack Fine, which bounced off the hands of a Crook County defender and into Fine’s hands.
Ceciliani’s touchdown came as time expired, and the two teams went into their locker rooms at the half with the Cowboys clinging to a narrow 26-24 lead.
Madras kicked off to open the third quarter and the Greaves took the kick and raced 90 yards for his third touchdown of the game. Toledo’s kick was good and Crook County led 32-24.
Toledo’s kick was downed in the end zone again and Madras started their next possession on the 20 yard line. From their the two teams traded punts with Toledo’s punt downed on the eight yard line.
Madras was unable to move the ball and Zemp returned the ensuing punt to the 45 yard line. Five plays later Saenz scored on a five- yard quarterback sneak. Toledo’s kick was good again and the Cowboys led 39-24 with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.
Once again, Toledo’s kick was downed in the end zone. The Cowboys tackled Haugen for a loss all the way back to the 14-yard line and Madras was forced to punt again. Greaves returned the punt to the 33-yard line, then scored on a 20 yard run just three plays later and the Cowboys had a 46-24 lead.
However, Madras battled back. The White Buffaloes went on a nine play 80-yard touchdown drive capped off by a quarterback sneak by Haugen. Ceciliani caught the two point conversion attempt and the White Buffaloes trailed 46-32.
On the ensuing kickoff Madras attempted an onside kick which was recovered by Crook County on their own 50.
The Cowboys scored less than two minutes later on a 21-yard Greaves run. The kick was good and with 11.02 remaining in the game the Cowboys led 53-32.
Madras responded with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Ceciliani to make the score 53-38.
The Cowboys responded with a drive of their own that ended with a 15-yard pass from Saenz to Greaves giving Crook County a seemingly insurmountable 60-38 lead.
However, once again the White Buffaloes rallied. They scored on a two yard touchdown run by Zeph Phillips making the score 60-46. Then on their next possession Haugen hit Fine for a 69-yard touchdown and Madras trailed just 60-52 with 24.1 seconds left on the clock.
Crook County was able to recover the ensuing onside kick and then ran out the clock, escaping with the victory.
Madras finished the game with 604 yards of total offense while the Cowboys finished with 283 yards rushing and 88 yards passing.
Greaves finished with 371 yards of total offense. He wound up with 109 rushing yards on 15 carries, 50 receiving yards, 212 return yards and six touchdowns.
“It felt amazing,” Greaves said. “The line did an absolutely amazing job. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without them.
Zemp added 89 yards on 15 carries while Saenz carried the ball 7 times for 52 yards. Saenz was also 10-17 passing for 88 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile Ceciliani was a one-man wrecking crew for Madras finishing with more than 300 yards and five touchdowns.
“We knew that Ceciliani was a great ballplayer,” Cochran said. “We tried to double him over the middle and take him out of the game and they were still able to get him the ball.There were some great things for us, and some things that we obviously need to work on, but one of the good things is that our kids kept cranking and every time they scored we were able to come back.”
Cochran added that one of the most encouraging things that he saw after the game was that the Cowboys were disappointed even though they had won the game.
“I was pleased with our offense,”?he said. “But looking at the team’s faces they were disappointed after the game. They understand that even though we won we have to get better — and we can get better.”
Although Wells was disappointed in the loss he also saw some positives from his team.
“We lost to an inferior team last week and did not play well,” he said. “We did a complete 180 this week. Yes we came up short on the scoreboard, but our attitudes, our effort, and our execution was completely opposite of what it was last week. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I can’t believe that we scored 52 points and lost, but I take nothing away from Crook County, they are a great football team and they played extraordinarily hard the entire time.”
With the victory the Cowboys are now 3-1 on the season while Madras fell to 1-3.
The Cowboys travel to Portland on Friday to take on Class 5A Madison who is also 3-1 on the season.
“They have some guys up front that get off the ball really well,” Cochran said. “And they’ve got a running back that can go the distance on every play.”
Crook County 60, Madras 52
Friday, Sept. 21
Crook County 7 19 20 14 — 60
Madras 6 18 8 20 — 52
M — Devin Ceciliani 90 yard kickoff return (kick fail)
CC — Brandon Zemp 15 yard run (Edgar Toledo kick)
CC — Ball snapped out of end zone
M — Ceciliani 65 yard pass from Steele Haugen (kick blocked)
CC — Marcus Greaves 90 yard kick off return (Toledo kick blocked)
CC — Greaves 20 yard pass from Joe Saenz ()Toledo kick)
M — Ceciliani 16 yard run (pass fail)
CC — Toledo 44 yard field goal
M — Ceciliani 16 yard run (run fail)
CC – Greaves 85 yard kick off return (Toledo kick)
CC — Saenz 1 yard run (Toledo kick)
CC — Greaves 26 yard run (Toledo kick)
M — Haugen 2 yard run (Ceciliani pass from Haugen)
CC — Greaves 20 yard pass from Saenz (Toledo kick)
M — Ceciliani 33 yard pass from Haugen (pass fail)
CC — Greaves 13 yard pass from Saenz (Toledo kick)
M — Aaron Phillips 3 yard run (Haugen run)
M — Phillips 66-yard pass from Haugen (run fail)